|The very pleasant walk-in|
|Skurvefjell Vest (left) & Skurvefjell Øst (right)|
That was until the third pitch when the climbing went from fairly solid but difficult to protect to loose and difficult to protect. Fortunately the climbing was easier but under the given conditions it didn't particularly feel that way. I mounted some rocky steps interspersed by grassy ledges, passing a stack of loose boulders to my right. Continuing up a grassy ramp with little sign of protection the main challenge proved was avoid slipping on the foliage beneath my ill-suited rock shoes. After climbing close to 60m with no adequate gear it was time to find a belay. Of course there wasn't one... Much hunting around followed before I settled for a couple of placements around a stack of blocks that optimistically looked as though they would stay put in the event of high loading.
More of the same for Anna and another 'optimistic' belay. The problem now was that the distinct crux pitch was to follow and I needed a stronger belay to heighten the head space. Plus it looked as though we needed to be further right beneath a faint groove from where the climbing from continue right. Hopefully in that direction there would be a better belay and less rope drag to follow. Delicately I traversed across in absence of runners, throwing loose rocks down the route as I went. This seemed preferable to potentially dislodging them whilst climbing and maybe losing balance. Fortunately the route weaved around enough to avoid the risk of rocks hitting the belays and needless to say there were no other climbers in the vicinity to concern ourselves with. After some patient searching I found an adequate belay of sorts and more ideally positioned for the climbing to follow.
I followed the ledge further right to where the roof ended and a much larger roof commenced higher up. There looked a possible way through the roofs by climbing a slab beneath the large roof and then traversing back left to above the small roof. A large flake lay balanced at the top of the slab - too large to voluntarily displace. With a slightly dubious nut placed, I set about checking the rock to my left, where I would traverse in towards. It seemed largely stable but also fairly blank for the feet and not much to pull myself across with. At full reach I found a decent side-pull and mounted the exposed wall above the roof. tiptoeing across the small edges I found larger hand holds waiting and quickly the climbing became easier. The switchback through the roof had created too much rope drag but a good belay was at least at hand thanks to a solid over-head blue hex placement. Time to relax a little and take in the wonderful view of the Hemsedal valley below.
The remainder of the pitch was easy, skirting rightwards across slabby ground before climbing a short corner. There was little in the way of runners but at least a sound belay was waiting for me with a couple of cams at foot level.
|Easier climbing on the upper pitches|
|Close to the top|